This is post 9/10 of our Iceland trip in October 2017.
Day 9: Reykjavík (Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon).The Golden Circle is a trio of breath-taking sights near the capital including Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall. We have been told by some that these stops are too touristy and not worth the time but we had a free morning and found that stops to Geysir and Gulfoss were definitely worth it! We did not have time to see the National Park.
Geysir Geothermal Area: I’ve been to Yellowstone National Park and have seen my share of geysers but something about the Geysir Geothermal Area was so fun in a different way. Going in October there were less tourists and we shared views of the main geyser with only a handful of other people. It went off like clockwork even more often than expected, about 5 mins between eruptions. The beautiful teal colors of the geyser bubble dome was a gorgeous prelude to huge column of water that followed. We were so spoiled by the frequent eruptions and had a ton of fun with filming slow-motion videos of the geyser.
Gulfoss Waterfall: Even though we did our marathon of waterfall sightings the day prior we were still amazed by the sheer magnitude of the Gulfoss. There are two big parking lots surrounding the falls and we walked up an easy path to see the falls. The gentle sloping drops of the falls are very calming to watch. There are so many places to stand and sit around the falls that it is a nice place for reflection and meditation. Protip: there are pay-bathrooms up the stairs from the falls at the visitors center.
Blue Lagoon: We booked tickets for a noontime entrance well in advance (different times of the day are cheaper, noontime is one of those times!). Blue Lagoon is quite the spa experience…but overrun with tourists. The facilities seem maxed out with all the locker rooms extremely crowded. You have fancy bracelet that enables your locker to open and close, but the technology was a bit finicky and we had to try a few lockers to get one to work. Geothermal culture calls on everyone to shower beforehand and then you emerge out onto the lagoon. It is a sprawling set of geothermal pools and the water has a silky, mineral quality. The temperature is hot/warm and generally perfect when it is cold out. We got the most basic package and brought our own towels. You can easily spend a few hours wandering around. We got a yummy smoothie at the swim up bar and the basic package also comes with a mud mask. There is also a sauna that is intensely hot. Protip: Don’t forget a towel or else you are forced to upgrade a package. We did benefit from that as the upgrade package comes with an extra face mask treatment that our friends shared with us (by smearing some of their extra mud on us!).